Nun rape case: Bishop Franco Mulakkal remanded for 14 days

Remanded till October 6; bail plea to be heard on Thursday

bishop-franco-mulakkal-lies Bishop Franco Mulakkal, accused of raping a nun, is escorted by police outside a crime branch office in Kochi | Reuters

Roman Catholic Bishop Franco Mulakkal, arrested for allegedly raping a nun, was on Monday remanded to 14 days till October 6. The bishop will be shifted to sub-jail at Pala in Kottayam.  

The High Court on Monday postponed the Bishop's bail plea to Thursday. While considering the bail plea, the court observed that anticipatory bail cannot be considered as he is already under arrest. The bishop had alleged in his bail plea that he was arrested flouting rules. He also feared the police may fabricate evidence against him. He added that his health condition is not good.

The high court also settled the petitions seeking CBI probe into the allegations of rape, saying the police should be allowed to conduct an independent investigation.

The police took bishop Mulakkal, who was sent to two-day police custody on Saturday, to a guest house at Kuravilangadu for reconstruction of the crime scene on Sunday.

In its remand report, the police had said the nun was subjected to rape and unnatural times by the accused sex 13 at the guest house of St Francis Mission Home between 2014 and 2016.

The victim and her fellow nuns staying in the home were not present when Mulakkal was brought there.

Official sources said police planned to move an application in the court, seeking permission to subject the bishop to a lie detector as he was still reluctant to make the confessional statement.

The Kerala High Court on Saturday had rejected the bail plea of the bishop and sent him to two-day police custody.

His lawyers had moved the application seeking relief, submitting that the clergyman was arrested after a three-day long interrogation by the probe team.

Opposing the plea, police had said his three-day custody was required to conduct his potency test and to recover the laptop, mobile phone and the dress used by the accused.

They said his body fluid and DNA samples were required to be collected as part of the probe.

Recording the submissions, the magistrate granted two-day custody of the bishop to police till 2.30 pm on Monday.

The Roman Catholic Bishop, who was arrested Friday night, was later taken to the Government Medical College Hospital, Kottayam, on Saturday to perform these tests.

The police vehicle carrying the bishop reached the St Francis Mission Home at 10.20 am and left the place after completing the procedure at 11.10 am. After completing the procedure at Kuravilangadu convent, he was taken to the Kottayam Police Club.

In her complaint to the Kottayam police in June, the nun had alleged that Bishop Mulakkal raped her at a guest house in Kuravilangadu in May 2014 and later sexually exploited her on several occasions.

The nun had said she had to approach the police as church authorities did not act on her repeated complaints against the clergyman.

However, the bishop has denied the charges.